Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (archival photo from 2000) © N.N. (CBA)
Colombian cardinal emeritus and former prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, is dead. The Colombian clergyman died in Rome on Thursday morning at the age of 88.
This information was provided by the Colombian Episcopal Conference. A few hours earlier, the bishops' conference had called for prayers for the sick cardinal via Twitter. On 21. In February 1998, Castrillon Hoyos was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. appointed cardinal.
In a telegram of condolences, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for Castrillon's "generous commitment to the Church". In the letter to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, he particularly mentions the work of the Colombian as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and President of the "Ecclesia Dei" Commission.
At the head of the Congregation for the Clergy
Born in Medellin in 1929, Castrillon studied theology in his native Colombia and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, specializing in canon law, sociology of religion, economic policy and business ethics. In 1952 he was ordained priest in Rome. After various pastoral assignments in his native diocese, he became secretary general of the Colombian Episcopal Conference in 1966. He also taught canon law at the "Universita Civile Libera" in Medellin.
Pope Paul VI. (1963-1978) appointed Castrillon bishop and coadjutor of Pereira in 1971. He took this bishop's seat in 1976. The Latin American Episcopal Council CELAM elected him secretary general in 1983 and president for four years in 1987. In 1992 John Paul II. (1978-2005) gave him the leadership of the Archdiocese of Bucaramanga; four years later he appointed Castrillon to head the Congregation for the Clergy in the Vatican. Castrillon has belonged to the College of Cardinals since 1998.
Key figure in the scandal surrounding Holocaust denier Williamson
Castrillon Hoyos was considered a key figure in the scandal surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's lifting of the excommunication of Holocaust denier and traditionalist bishop Richard Williamson. in January 2009. Hoyos was then president of the papal commission "Ecclesia Dei" in charge of the dialogue with the Piusi Friars.
He himself had always denied knowing about the Holocaust denial by Briton Williamson even before it was lifted. From 1996 to 2006, Hoyos served as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy for a large part of the more than 250.000 Catholic priests of the world.
The Colombian cardinal made a name for himself once again in 2010 at the height of the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. At the time, a 2001 letter appeared in the media in which he congratulated a French bishop for not reporting a priest accused of sexual abuse to state justice. Castrillon Hoyos was considered a close confidant of former right-wing conservative President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) in Colombia.